tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC February 7, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm EST
about the sequester. we recognize that just cutting the federal spending with the meat ax as opposed to scalpel is probably damaging and will damage our national security and will damage our educational system, will have kids getting kicked off of head start. it will mean people who have disabled kids. they recognize that the sequester is a bad idea, but what they've suggested is that the only way to replace it now is for us to cut social security, cut medicare, and not close a single loophole, not raise any additional revenue from the wealthiest americans or corporations who have a lot of lawyers and accountants who are able to maneuver and manage and work and game the system. i have to tell you, if that's an argument that they want to have
before the court of public opinion, that is an argument i am more than willing to engage in because i believe the american people understand -- i believe the american people understand that, yes, we need to reduce the deficit, but it shouldn't just be on the backs of seniors. it shouldn't be just on the backs of young people who are trying to get a college education. it should not be on the backs of parents who are trying to give their kids a better start in life. that all of us have to participate and that, in fact, it's important for us to make sure we've got a strong national defense and that we reduce our spending in a smart way. those of us who are luckiest in the society to close a few loopholes and deductions that the average american doesn't get. if that's the choice that we've got, i promise you we can win that debate because we're on the right side of this argument. i hope -- i expect that you guys will be with me on that.
last point i'll make, obviously economic growth is a priority. making sure that we're opening up opportunity for everybody is also important. that's why emgregs reform is so critical. i said this is going to be a top priority and an early priority of my administration. i am heartened to see republicans and democrats starting to be in a serious conversation about getting this done. now is the time. i recognize that the politics aren't always easy. there are regionable variations. i understand that in some places this may end up being a tough issue, but what i also know is that part of our strength is our
youth and our dynamism and our history of attracting talent from all around the globe, and i have seen that talent many some of the young dreamers that i have met who want to serve in our military, want to get an engineering degree, want to help build this country, want to start a business. i want to make sure that that american future is secure. so we need to get immigration reform done, and i'm going to be pushing hard to get it done. early. and we're also going to have to make sure that we keep the american people safe which means we're going to continue to work even as we draw down our troops in afghanistan, to go after those who would attack america, and we've got to be mindful about steps we can take to end the cycle of gun violence in this country and we should do
so -- and we should do so recognizing that, again, there are regional differences here. we should respect those, and guns mean something different for somebody who grew nup a farm in a rural community, somebody who grew up in an inner city, and they're different realities and we have to respect them, but what we know is the majority of responsible gun owners recognize we cannot have a situation in which 20 more of our children or 100 more of our children or 1,000 more of our children are shot and killed in a senseless fashion. there are commonsense steps we can take to build consensus around and we cannot be -- we cannot shy away from taking those steps. so bottom line is this, people. we got a lot of work to do. what we've learned over the last four years, at least what i've learned over the last four years, is that it won't be
smooth. it won't be simple. there will be frustrations. there will be times where you guys are mad at me. i will occasionally read about it. but as long as we keep in mind why we came here in the first place, as long as we think back to whatever inspired each of us to say maybe i can give something back, maybe i can make a difference, maybe my purpose here on earth is not just thinking about what's in it for me. thinking about what is in it for the broader community, for my neighborhood, for my state, for my country. if we keep that in mind, every single day, i have no doubt that we will continue the extraordinary progress that we've made already, and as a byproduct of doing that good work and keeping that focus, i
would expect that nancy pelosi is going to be speaker again pretty soon. thank you, everybody. god bless you. thank you. >> president obama completing his statement to the house democrats, and right now on "draen mitchell reports" drone wars coming up on the eve of john brennan's cia hearing. the white house relents and turns over its secret memo. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. this idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, that you can have only one or the other is something i reject. >> but what about john brennan's answers on torture and secret leak investigations? the defense department on defense. the pentagon's top brass pushed back on questions about the military response in benghazi.
>> are you surprised that the president of the united states never called you secretary panetta, and says how is it going? >> you know, normally in these situations -- >> did he know the level of threat that -- >> let me finish the answer. we were deploying the forces. he knew we were deploying the forces. he was being kept -- >> i hate to intript you, but i have limited time. we didn't deploy any forces. >> it was over by the time -- >> mr. secretary, you didn't know how long the attack would last. did you ever call him and say, mr. president, it looks like we don't have anything to get there any time soon? >> the event was over before -- >> it lasted almost eight hours, and my question to you is during that eight-hour period did the president show any curiosity about how is this going, what kind of assets do you have helping these people? did he ever make that phone call? >> look, there is no question in
my mind the president of the united states was concerned about american lives. >> well, all due respect, i don't believe that's the credible statement if he never called and asked you are we helping these people, what's happening to them? >> rallying the troops. it's president obama's turn today with the house democrats. we just saw him speaking out for gun control. joe biden was passionate with the democrats last night. >> enough is enough. we have to stand up. folks, look, many of you ms room have been standing up your entire careers. many of you have scars on your back like i do from having acted, attempted to act, and continuing to try to act. and deal with the senselessness of gun violence in america. >> earlier today as congress and the president join hands at the
annual prayer breakfast, the president joked that the holy spirit doesn't seem to last very long in washington these days. >> you would like to think that the shelf life wasn't so short. i go back to the oval office, and i start watching the cable news networks, and it's like we didn't -- >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. a busy day. john brennan is going to face questions about the counter terror tactics employed by two separate administrations that he has served. joining me now for our daily fix chris calizza and managing editor of post politics.com, and nbc news terrorism expert michael lighter, steve clemons, editor at larnl for "the atlantic" and nbc capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. first to you, michael. you are just back from saudi arabia. you are just off the plane. you worked with both with john brennan in both administrations,
so with that out there, he is now answering questions for the first time. why from your perspective did the white house resist for so many months giving its legal rationale for the actions that it has taken m drone war. >> i think the administration did give some of its legal rationale and speeches by john and the department of defense general counsel, but not fully the way it has now. i think most of this was caught up in issues of internal executive deliberation. environment happy the white house has come out now. they now see what john's nomination -- they had to provide the actual office of legal counsel memorandum to the senate intel committee to move his nomination forward, and, frankly, i really do think that's a good thing. >> well, chris, you have been a student of these things. you've watched the ebb and flow. the white house released this at 7:01, just a minute too late, they knew, to get it meaningfully on the evening
newscast. the president called senator who was the person really pushing most publicly for it. why so reluctant? why dragging their feet? why did they finally cave in. >> first of all, andrea, you know this better than i do. there is no such thing as coincidence in politics. this was not a coincidence for when they released it, you are right. they released it so that it would not get the amount of coverage, and, look, i think they released it. whether it's a good thing or bad thing they released it. they released it clearly because ron widen and other democrats were saying, look if we -- dianne feinstein, if we don't get this, it's going to be a problem. you don't want it to be more of a public problem with john brennan than it already is going to be, but the hearing is already i think shaping up to be a debate. among democrats and republicans, but a lot of folks -- should we
be telling -- you don't want them to turn into an all-out back and forth over this. if you give us this document, it might not be great for john brennan, but it seems likely we're not going to hold this up. it seems like he winds up getting confirmed. they did it under dur es. if -- in a perfect world i don't think the white house would have chosen to just sort of put this documentation out there. the timing of it suggests they wouldn't. >> well, let's take a look, a quick look, at john brennan back at the woodrow wilson center back in april last april with his explanation for why he believed that drones do conform to principles of humanity and here's his words. >> targeted strikes conform to the principle of humanity, which requires us to use weapons that will not inflict unnecessary suffering. for all these reasons, i suggest to you that these targeted strikes against al qaeda terrorists are, indeed, ethical and just.
>> kelly o'donnell, will that be persuasive with the senators you cover there on the intelligence committee? >> well, that is exactly the kind of argument they want to examine and to look at what brennan has said over time about other kinds of things, like the enhanced interrogation techniques, did those actually lead to intelligence that found osama bin laden and what i can tell you is while this is making news today, i have been watching as senators like ron widen and jefr merkley and others have been pressing officials over the last couple of years. didn't always bubble up to get a lot of attention. they have been pressing this issue for a long time. believing that congress not only has a responsibility of oversight, not that the whole public would know about these things, but the specific senators who are charged with watching over this would have the information and to better understand it and to shape policy. so this is a long fight for some of the progressive senators who have wanted more answers, and had the unclassified version not become public through our colleague who broke that story, that generated greater pressure.
obviously the confirmation hearing. you have the lemplg point where this issue is front and center. there might have been other topics besides drones that would have been central, but today this will be the real focus for john brennan, and as you point out, his history with the agency, his span of time serving more than one president, gives him real perspective on this, and it's a difficult case for some to argue when you raise these human rights issues. there's a lot of pushback on the president and the administration from that perspective. there's the argument that you hear made that this reduces civilian casualties, although some do occur, and that this is something that they have to do. the interpretation of what is an imminent threat will be a big part of this. andrea. >> let me also point out that he, john brennan, did answer some questions, and that was also released by the white house just in the last 24 hours. for instance, in one case he is asked describe when, how, and to whom you expressed europe zigs to bush administration policies on coercive interrogation tactics to include
waterboarding. brennan's answer. "i had segment concerns and personal objections to many elements of the eit, the enhanced interrogation tactics program while it was underway. i voiced those objections privately with colleagues at the agency. when i left the agency, i spoke publicly about those concerns. i strongly support the president's ban on such techniques." steve clemons, is he going to have a difficult time justifying that statement because he was part of those early years? what proof is there that he did push back against the bush administration techniques? >> i think proof is tough to say. he is saying he pushed back. the president is month -- is fonder of no one more than john brennan, so the president is putting his own credibility on the line with john brennan, and it's something that's supposed to be a badge of, you know, why we should trust this man, but it is tough for some democrats. i know senator mark udall and others have been days pointed in john brennan's lack of
attentiveness to some of their concerns on these issues, so there are people in the president's own ranks and the ranks of his own party that are deeply concerned that there isn't a serious study and a sense of intro spekz about interrogation techniques. not just because of what john brennan did, but how they're going to approach it in the future. >> and in that world that's evolving, they want to know on what side of the moral line john brennan really falls. >> he answered in these interrogation interrogatories which were sent to him. excuse me. is about leaks. he acknowledged being questions as a witness, not a target, by authorities, by prosecutors on two leak investigations, one of them a big one involving the
covert activity against iran, the technology. >> honestly in many ways i think this is maybe the hardest piece for john. white house officials frequently do unclassified background briefings for members of the press, as you know. the question will be do you ever provide them with classified information that you shouldn't? now, i think he is going to be adamant. my guess is absolutely positively not. it's impossible to be at the white house for four years and not have questions like this come up. honestly i think on the other piece is the drones issue will honestly be a big issue for debate, but this is one that the senate intelligence committee has been deeply involved in and as chairman feinstein has said, they've been able to do oversight, so i actually think those questions -- it may be some asking questions to john, but the things that he was personally involved in, like potentially leaks, will be a little harder for hem, but i'm confident he will give
satisfactory answers. >> as kelly subpoena on had the hill also watching very closely, very tough questions on benghazi today. we should point out that the confirmation vote in committee was postponed today for hagel. they're asking for more information about his personal finances and about speeches that he made. what about the way both john mccain and lindsey graham and others still going after the defense leadership on why it took so long. the facts they are not prepositioned in africa. they are in germany. they pointed out it was a seven-hour attack, but by the time they were ready to lift off the ground, it was over. that's not satisfying the senators on the armed services committee. >> what's so striking about this is we've been watching these various hearings, exploring the issues and the reports that have been done, and there was a sort of new line of questioning today from a number of republicans. they got the joint chiefs chair
and secretary panetta to acknowledge some things that might be surprising to people, that they had a conversation with the president that lasted. with the initial assault on the temporary benghazi, and never spoke to him again. it was under some really piercing questions from lindsey graham and others. no one around the president in the white house had called, that there had been no conversation with secretary clinton with senator panetta and the joint chiefs chair. part of what the two gentlemen who were testifying tried to lay out is that issue of time and distance. a lot of this is about trying to make changes for the future and you've got secretary panetta talking about how they are going to try to reposition some things. in north africa they say they
have gaps in intelligence. it was really exposing those flaws. what was new and i think very compelling today was this focus on what did the president know and why did he apparently not show more interest and certainly secretary panetta fought back to say he was confident the president was very concerned, but there was not that communication during the attack. >> steve, that does seem to be a political point that the republicans have been making. they tried very early on to say why wasn't the white house more involved in this, and what panetta was saying was that that's what you have a national security advisor and chief of staff and having been a chief of staff, said in the middle of the night when an operation is underway, they did not know that chris stevens was messing and they did not know that he had been killed. it took hours until he showed up at a hospital. his body showed up at a hospital that they even knew what the threat was to america. >> i'm sure chief of staff and dennis mcdonough were deep in the weeds on what they could get
at with regards to benghazi. i have spoken to some of them about that, and i think that, you know, there's an interesting notion that i think some of the senators are trying to put on the table, and they're trying to measure the sort of emotional, if you will, commitment, the attendiveness of the president much the united states, but disregarding the machinery and people around him to look at this. i think in part what senators gram and mccain are trying to raise is something that is entirely different. they've been arguing for some years that our military deployments abroad, what we spend on our military demroimts, what we spend on the sort of global apparatus that we have in which the united states is one of the only nations in the world that can deploy forces like we can is becoming too thin, and so i think that will part of the reason they're trying to highlight these things is less about benghazi, and more about trying to say we are kneecapping our capacity globally, and they're trying to find incidents to make that case. we're not talking about that, and that's a legitimate discussion to be had. >> briefly, chris, the issue from the administration
standpoint is that you can't forward deploy in north africa, it is too dangerous, and the host countries don't want us. we want -- they want a smaller american footprint. >> i think steve is right. i think a lot of this, andrea, is about precedence setting. i think it's the same thing for the brennan hearing. a lot of this is not about what we're doing right now. not about what we've done in the relative recent past, and what precedence are we setting going forward. not just going forward for the obama administration, but going forward, you know, 10, 15, 20 years. how will we approach these sorts of future -- hopefully they don't occur, but future benghazis and drone strikes in the future against american citizens. it's really about ten years in the future rather than five years in the past. >> steve clemons, michael lighter, and joining me now senator jay rockefeller who serves on the intelligence committee and is a former chairman of the committee. senator, you are the expert.
what does the committee want to hear today from john brennan before deciding to vote whether he should be the next cia director? >> i think what we're going to hear -- i've had good talks with john brennan. i have known him for a number of years, and the fact of the matter is, you know, he himself was not aware of the intelligence and the eitc enhanced interrogation and torture stuff. there's a lot that he -- until we wrote a 6,000 page document with 23,000 foot notes. he has read the summaries of that, and he is shocked. there's a lot people don't know even though they're in a position to know it as far as the drones are concerned, i think we're going to hear from him that he wants no part of inaccuracies and he will not put the president's authority and, therefore, the president himself
at risk by not having a really accurate and precise protocol all the way down the line because that is essential when you are dealing with taking out an enemy. i think he is getting all this badgering and, yes, he was -- he was -- he knew about the drone program. my conversations with him is have made it very, very clear -- he has made it very, very clear that he can see that there's been some running amok, and people who are from certain agencies have not been behaving at all well. he is determined. he is strong. he is a bull. he is close to the president. frankly, i think if he answers the questions that i'm going to ask him the way i hope he will, i think he is the one person in
this town who can clear up this whole mess and give confidence to the intelligence community, to the cia, which he would be heading, and to the american people. >> senator, you were -- you were in -- chair in the committee and he was in the white house for the last four years. there has been a 700 percent, we are told, increase in the use of drones in the last four years. clearly he was involved in the policy most recently if he wasn't directly in charge of i in the bush years. >> well, he might have known about it, might have protested about it. these will be questions that i'll be asking him. all i'm saying, andrea, is that we have a mess on our hands here. just as we did with weapons of mass destruction, although that was very different. also, the enhanced interrogation techniques, which, you know, he had no idea that it was this bad -- practiced as badly as it
was. he called me and said i didn't know that. i had him read about 350 pages, and i'm going to ask him this afternoon to require all cia people to read that information to find out how an agency can really mess up just through lack of attention or a lack of proper direction. >> as the deputy executive director of the cia during that period, if he didn't know, shouldn't he have known? >> he could have known, but could have had nothing to do with it at all. he did have nothing to do with it. the deputy director of the cia does budgets, does personnel, works out problems, does lodgestics. that's one side of john brennan. the other side is he has this extraordinary relationship with the president and wants to protect the president and the only way he can protect the president is by making sure that this whole question of the protocol of drones is done correctly. drones are a part of our future. drones are a good part of warfare. they can be very helpful.
there has to be a protocol which is absolute. even as you and i are talking, the white house, yes, they have agreed to release the olc, the office of legal counsel papers to the intelligence community, but they haven't agreed to release it to allow staff, compartmented staff, of each memb member. >> have you been able to read it yourself, sir? >> no, i have not. i've read the white paper, but not the olc. >> will you have access to it today? >> i would assume i would, yes. >> now, i want to ask you about your decision because since we last chatted, you have decided to step down from the senate to leave at the end of this term. what went into that decision? >> it was just a good decision,
andrea. it was right. i had been in public life and political life about a third of the life of wavy, in fact, and i am looking for a more recalibration of my life. i will have two homes in west virginia. i will keep those two homes. i will keep working in west virginia. i have no fears about that, but i can't tell you how comfortable i am with the decision even though i'm fully aware of how much i'm going to miss the public policy on a direct basis that i get here in the senate, and that is going to be hurtful for me. i'm going to have to adjust to that. >> you know, when we first met i was covering the senate, and you were talking to me. we were talking about presidential races back in 1988. you were talking to me about when you were vista volunteer. that's how you started. that's how you got to west
virginia, i think, originally. >> it is. >> as a vista volunteer. inspired by the kennedy administration, of course. what next for west virginia? is it more likely that a republican is going to be able to win your seat? the state is moving very much away from some of the democratic -- >> not -- >> liberal principles. >> you may not be quite right on that. they have been voting -- they certainly didn't appreciate obama. he didn't carry a single county. the values of west virginians, which is earned income tax credit, getting medicare, getting social security benefits, black lung benefits, all those things that are traditional democratic values and programs, those they like. those they do not want to give up. if you give them the ryan budget, they would be very
unhappy about that. you confront them with the facts of which parties are offering what, it's still a democratic state and most the local officials are still democratic. it will stay that way. >> senator joe rockefeller, thank you very much. thank you for previewing the hearing for us. up next, blizzard preparations. we'll check in with the weather channel for who is in the line of fire. that coming up next. [ female announcer ] want younger looking eyes that sing wow with olay, here's how. new regenerist eye and lash duo the cream smooths the look of lids... softens the look of lines. the serum instantly thickens the look of lashes. and the award for wow! eyes in just one week goes to you.
♪ shimmy, shimmy chocolate. ♪ shimmy, shimmy chocolate. ♪ we, we chocolate cross over. ♪ yeah, we chocolate cross over. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing fiber one 80 calorie chocolate cereal. ♪ chocolate. >> the snooes on a mrifrd watch. a powerful winter storm is heading to the northeast after barrelling through the midwest, and airports are already experiencing major delays of more than two hours. blizzard watches are in effect throughout new england where travel could become nearly xwokt as crews in new york city brace for as many -- much as two feet of snow. mayor bloomberg today warning new yorkers say good-bye to that relatively dry winter so far.
>> the good news it you like the snow is that we're going to have some. the better news is if it's going to happen, having it happen overnight friday into saturday is probably as good timing as we could have. >> joining me now from the weather channel is paul goodlow. paul, tell us what is the track of the storm, and how close are these forecasts right now? >> well, the two feet for new york is pretty much off unless you talk about, say, extreme eastern long island. the path and track of the storm, as you mentioned, is really a combination of a couple of systems. you mention thad storm in the midwest. that will start new york city off. same thing as boston. that starts to move across the mid-atlantic, and they will merge and form a bigger storm. a nor'easter off shore. that's when things really start to go downhill. new york city, you might see an inch or so throughout the day,
but it's really late tomorrow might where we see the temperatures crash over the snow really start dumping say, after 6:00, 7:00 at night. snow really comes down. boston, you've got it worse. we're talking, say, 7:00 tomorrow night right on through your saturday. we can see hour after hour of heavy snow, maybe two to three inches per hour. heads up, boston schools have already closed for friday because of this because the snow continues all day long on saturday. it starts to taper off in new york city, but here's the thing about the forecast. we're thinking this one could actually slow down into sunday, still be somewhere close here, which means another additional snow, so some of the snow totals here, which are pretty impressive well, might have to up these as well. the good news is new york city, you're on the lower end of this, but boston, we're in this bull's-eye, and philadelphia and d.c. were out of the snow, but boston, maybe a foot. that might number the low end. the high end two plus feet as we head through early saturday -- sunday morning, actually. andrea. >> what a weekend ahead for the people in boston and the areas in the northeast.
thank you very much, paul. >> the man time magazine dubs the republican savior. that coming up next. [ male announcer ] you know that guy that's got a ham radio in his basement. he can talk to china, mongolia and all the koreas and he eats velveeta shells and cheese. so who are you calling amateur? liquid gold. eat like that guy you know.
president obama's controversial rationale for targeted killings of americans in other countries has exposed at least the tip of the iceberg of the obama administration's war on al qaeda. daniel is national political correspondent "news week" and the daily beast and also the author of "kill or capture, the war on terror and the soul of the obama presidency." good to see you. thanks very much for joining us. you are right on point with the hearing. the subject of the hearing today. a couple of things you expose in your book. you right about the president having month qualms about killing al alaki in yemen. the american, of course, who was involved with allegedly involved with the christmas bomber. you said that he had become fixated on taking out the
charismatic cleric, and you write that his focus was so intense that one of his briefers, general james cartwright, the former deputy national security advisor, thought that -- deputy joint chief of staff chair of the joint chief thought that the obama's rhetoric was starting to sound like george w. bush's, whom he had briefed on many occasions. what is clear that the president found the american citizenship's immaterial. can you expand on that? >> well, andrea, it was really striking to me as he was reporting the book, the president was really concerned and sort of twisted up about, you know, issues like preventive detention, indefinite detention or whether calling he'd shake mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind should be tried in a civilian court or a military commission, but on this issue of whether he could go after anwar al alaki, he really had no doubt. he lost no sleep. there might have been a lot of hand-ringing going on elsewhere, but not for the president. you have to remember many some ways al alaki, for president obama, was his bin laden.
al qaeda, the court organization, had already been sort of knocked back on its heels. osama bin laden was not really capable of pulling off, you know, spectacular attacks. alaki had shown that he was really hell bent on attacking the homeland. he tried -- >> and he was operational. he was operational in a way that we did not believe bin laden was at that point. >> absolutely. so the president, you know, his view was that, look, this is a lawful act of war. there is an imminent threat because al alaki had proven time and time again that he was trying to do this. he didn't lose a lot of sleep over it. >> i'm fascinate bid your writing, your reporting on general cartwright, and also the countervailing force was how the former state department legal advisor, who is the dean of the law school, both before and since, well known and nationally known legal scholar, and you write about how he was really concerned about making sure had
he the intelligence. he said he was queasier -- you write he was queasy about the whole operation, and if al alaki wasn't going to be able to defend himself in a court of law, then perhaps you write koh could at least insure the government's case was legitimate. he then spent five hours going over the intel himself. tell me about koh and his role in all of this. >> well, harold koh was in some ways the sort of humanitarian within the obama administration arguing to make sure that these kinds of attacks were being done within a framework of law. you know, that didn't give him license to oppose every military action. koh was, in fact, the first member of the obama administration who went out publicly and defended the drone program. he did defend it and talk about how it was being done lawfully. then the administration -- before he did that, he already
knew that the administration wanted to go after al alaki. going after an american citizen did give him pause. he was going to go and look at all the intelligence. he went into a secure room inside the state department, and for hours he spent, you know, going over all of this chilling intelligence about al alaki. he said many many ways for him the standard was iffing to be was this guy evil. not exactly a technical legal standard, but it needs to get over that bar. he walked out of that room and not just is this guy evil, but he is satanic. he said that it would be okay to go after al-awlaki. he did argue, however, that we should have been more transparent about the legal theories behind that attack than the administration chose to be. in fact, he was in favor of releasing the so-called white paper which is now been released and leaked. >> and, dan, briefly on john brennan, john brennan is going
to come before this committee within the hour and he is going to try to make the argument that he did not support enhanced interrogation techniques, ie, torture, when he is in fact on the record in 2006 and 2007 defending them. >> yeah. other than drones, i think the drama in this hearing is going to be john brennan's involvement such as it was in torture or coercive interrogation. there's no doubt that he was there at the time that this was being planned. there's no doubt that he was aware of it. he was in briefings. he was in meetings. he claims that he opposed it, that he quietly told people inside the agency, including his superiors, that he was against it. we haven't seen evidence of that yet. it will be interesting to see the extent to which the senators drove on this issue and trying to find out who the people were that he spoke to so he they could approve that he did, in fact, oppose the program. >> thank you so much. thanks for being with us.
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is engineered to amaze. ♪ >> republicans have chosen marco rubio to deliver the republican response to the president's state of the union address next tuesday. first in english and then for the first time in the nation's history he will do it in spanish. in the new issue of "time magazine" michael takes an in depth look at rube yoes ae political as spirations and the human-american senator's unique approach to immigration reform. joining me now is michael. congratulation on the cover. first, let's talk about marco rubio. why he was chose sxen why he is such a central figure right now in the sort of reformation of the republican party. >> well, look, the party has had a tough couple of elections. they've gotten spanked a couple of times. the electorate is getting less
white. it's getting less rural. it's getting lessee advantage elcal. it's getting less demographically republican. they look at their future, and one possible model that you hear a lot about is they need to improve they are message and do a better job with latinos. here you have this incredibly charismatic cuban-american republican who is sort of naturally come into prominence. i think it's sort of not surprising that they are so excited about him and that people are starting to talk about him possibly becoming the first hispanic president. >> of course, the national stage is lirted with apirants who tried to give opposing political views to the state of the union speech, and it's just very difficult to compete against all the pomp and circumstance of that address to a joint chamber of congress. >> that's right. i think bobby jindahl had a
really tough time a while back. everybody said he looked like that character in the sit com. i think, you know, there's no question that it's tough, but i think what they're looking for is atmospherics of a guy that gives great speeches and an interesting story, an interesting personal story and the boyish good looks and the tea party ideology. it's not clear how much he's actually going to talk about immigration which is where he's suddenly become the, you know, the real republican star and is really the focus of my story because he's had such an interesting personal and political journey on that issue. >> you quote rubio's mom saying to him last september, don't mess with the immigrants, my son. they're human beings just like us. they came for the same reasons we came. so please don't mess with them. his personal story does inform everything he's done and tried to do. i talked to him last summer trying to do something on
immigration and the romney folks shut him down cold and then the president with the dream act and that trumped what rubio was trying to propose and working on this for a long time and does bridge the gap. let me ask you something quickly about the cover. you are not responsible for the artwork. i don't think you are. >> no. >> but the cover headline is "the savior." and he tweeted today @marcorubio, there is only one savior. and it is not me. he's feeling i think a little bit, maybe a little chagrinned by the way he is being portrayed. >> i think my sense and i'm not a christian soy can't know for sure and my sense is jesus was more of a con ssensus builder. i don't think of him as a republican savior. but look. there's obviously going to be a lot of attention on rubio. the not just the next few days but i think the next few years. >> well, thanks very much for
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and chris cillizza is back. looking at the hearings. should be starting in half an hour. tracking it all afternoon. john brennan and the whole history of the drone controversy is going to be unveiled or at least they're going to try to pierce the skrail of secrecy. >> i was going to say, the public will find more out about it than they have known before. one thing in contextwise, using unmanned drones is one of the single most popular things in terms of popular opinion. 80 plus percent a year ago favored the use of unmanned drone strikes against terrorist suspects. that telling you sort of political background here. >> which is why the white house is not that concerned about this debate except -- >> correct. >> -- they want their cia man through. thank you, chris. that does it for us.
my colleague tamron hall a lose okay what's next on "news nation." great to see you. >> thank you. confirmation hearing of john brennan drones harsh interinaugurations and leaks. all expected to be hot topics. i'll be joined by jim risch saying he has concerns. why republicans delayed the vote for the defense secretary nominee. we'll have more coming up. rm. axiron, the only underarm rm. treatment for low t, can restore testosterone levels back to normal in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these signs and symptoms to your doctor if they occur.
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